Funky South Austin restaurant Maria’s Taco Xpress, known for its margaritas, ample patio space, and live music-focused Hippie Church events, will close at the end of the year. This is because the building has been sold to an unnamed Austin-based investment group, according to a release from real estate company CBRE.
The 2529 South Lamar Boulevard restaurant’s last day of service will take place sometime in December, and the space’s decorations and fixtures will be sold off individually as well. This includes the now-masked giant welcoming statue of owner Maria Corbalan that sits on the roof of the restaurant. The entire space had been up for sale since August 2019 by CBRE.
As had been planned before, Corbalan is passing along the actual name of the restaurant, its kitchen equipment, and the still-existing trailer to her staffers, so that the food and spirit of the Maria’s Taco Xpress could live on in a new location.
“They have been amazing,” writes Corbalan in the press release of her staff, “especially during these hard times, and I hope they can bring the same delicious tacos to Austin for years to come. The best gift the community can give me is supporting my employees on their new endeavor.”
The investment group buying Maria’s building isn’t being named by CBRE at this point, but the press release notes sale is being finalized in early November.
In 2019, general manager Fernando Ezeta told Eater that Corbalan wanted to sell because of a combination of high taxes and wages, and a smaller customer base because people were moving out of the neighborhood or being priced out.
This isn’t the first time Corbalan put the restaurant up for sale, either: She announced she was looking to sell the restaurant in 2017, but then the deal with the potential new owners fell through, and business was booming too.
Corbalan opened Maria’s as a food trailer in 1997 on South Lamar, which she has to move into the next-door address at the time because of the Walgreen’s construction. That’s where she built the physical restaurant in 2006.
The restaurant is currently open for patio dine-in service, curbside pickups, and third-party deliveries.